My heart is heavy, and the heart of our nation is heavy. This year, already plagued by disease and anxiety, will have the same scar of racial injustice and inequity as those before it.
As I reflect on the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others, I yearn for unity, justice and peace in overcoming racial injustice. The persistence of these horrific events continues to reveal deep-seeded, evil prejudice in our society. With each unjust killing, it becomes even more apparent that the racism Black people face in our country cannot be ignored or dismissed. And we all must recognize it, regardless of political party or race. I, more than ever, am.
I am also burdened with grief for the already-struggling business owners, cities and people who have lost the product of their life’s work because of violent riots across the nation. On Sunday night in my home county of San Bernardino, small stores, malls, pharmacies and more were looted and destroyed.
Never in my 20 short years has our country ever seemed to be so fraught with uncertainty, fear and pain.
While politics, policies and governments must be part of the solution, I believe the answer lies closer to home for each of us. For me, it is in my Christian faith that I find some answers. Two verses come to mind.
In Matthew 22, Jesus defines the second greatest of all 613 Mosaic Laws as the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. This love is to be without definition nor partiality, as Paul writes in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bondservant nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Within these verses, and others, lies a valuable lesson: To love is to see our neighbors and our differences and still care for each other. To love is to honor others, to grieve and to rejoice with one another. To love is to stand against racism. It is to stand up for justice, equality and righteousness.
I am of the Christian faith, but I hope these truths will resound in us all. Love requires action and necessitates help. Right now Black communities need all of our love and support.
As we pursue this more perfect society, another verse comes to mind, Romans 12:21.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”